Introduction to Cloud Services (IAAS, PAAS & SAAS)

You have already heard about Cloud service and some associated terms such as IAAS, PAAS, and SAAS however you have difficulty to understand these terms. Here I will try to use a very simple real life scenario which sure was part of your life sometime. Do you like Pizza? Yes, you do, I know. Let’s consider following 4 scenarios:

Scenario 1: You make your own pizza at your home and eat it.

In this scenario you will have to perform everything needed for your pizza however you own everything in this process.

Scenario 2: You go to “Take & Bake Pizza” shop to get Pizza and then bake it at you home and eat it.

In this scenario you buy readymade uncooked pizza from the shop and bake it at your own home. You use your own oven to cook it and then serve it at your dining table. So you own significant amount of steps in this scenario and depend a little on pizza vendor.

Scenario 3: You order pizza, delivered at your home and then eat it.

In this scenario you order fully prepared pizza with your choice of toppings, delivered to you at your doorstep. You just use your own soda and then serve it at your dining table. So you are depend on pizza vendor for almost everything and just have some responsibility.

Scenario 4: You go to some nice diner and enjoy your pizza there.

In this scenario you just visit to your choice of diner and enjoy pizza there. You just pay for all the services you consume so you don’t own anything instead depend on everything on diner.

If you put all of above scenarios together everything look like as below:

Now let’s consider you are a tech company and you own everything and you are not depend on any other for any service. You own infrastructure, application and everything in between. As you can see your ownership is layered i.e. infrastructure, platform and software as below:

Now you want to consider a cloud service vendor who can provide some assistance to your company. As you can see above you can get some help to offload infrastructure and you can go to extreme and just use a cloud service vendor who can provide you full software and you just don’t need to own anything.

Cloud services also have the same layered concept in which you are partially or fully depend on your vendor. Currently cloud service are categorize in 3 different types:

1.          Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS)

2.          Platform as a Service (PAAS)

3.          Software as a Service (SAAS)

Let’s see each Cloud Service in details.

1. Infrastructure as a Service (Also called as Hardware as a Service)

In IAAS, basically you just use vendor hardware and run your own application along with required OS & runtime. These vendors will provide off-site servers, storage, and networking hardware, for rent. You will use these hardware directly from internet. IAAS avoids maintenance costs and office space.

Main Vendors:

  • Amazon ECx, Rackspace Cloud, GoGrid Cloud Hosting, Google App Engine, Nirvanix Storage Delivery Network, Terremark Enterprise Cloud, VMware vCloud

2. Platform as a Service (Also called as Middleware)

You depend on vendor for hardware and application run time and just spend your energy on your application. Most common examples are Website hosting, Storage Solutions, Web App management, application development, collaboration tools, etc. PAAS vendors provide various solutions i.e.  OS, virtualized servers,  Single signon service etc.

Main Vendors:

  • Microsoft (Windows Azure), Amazon S3, VMWare, Rackspace, Red Hat, Google App Engine, Heroku, AppFog

3. Software as a Service

Any application hosted on remote server that can be accessed over the Internet through a web browser is considered SaaS.

Vendors: Netflix, MOG, Google Apps,, Dropbox, , GoToMeeting, Cisco’s WebEx, Salesforce’s CRM, ADP, Workday and SuccessFactors.

Finally here is everything in “Big” nutshell:

Hope you have enjoyed reading it!!


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